We have previewed the start of the WHL playoffs, and now we are officially in it. The entire U.S. Division is represented, and they all played their first two games over the weekend. We briefly recap those games to get up to speed before Game 3.
Seattle Thunderbirds 1, Vancouver Giants 7
A scoreless first period ushered in quiet the offensive outburst for Vancouver. Milos Roman’s wrister from a pass right in front of the crease via Jaden Joseph on the power play opened the scoring. The Giants scored 23 seconds later on Lukas Svejkovsky’s clean shot from the top of the crease, partially aided by a screen from Evan Patrician.
The goal of the night came off an outrageous take away by Jadon Joseph on Seattle’s Jake Lee. A major pick-up in the middle of the offensive zone gave Vancouver a SHG and their 3rd of the night.
Dawson Holt sent the puck to Dylan Plouffe near the blue line, his giant shot found the net through a ton of traffic.
Seattle got on the road with 3 seconds left in the second. A backhand pass from Matthew Wedman to Andrej Kukuca sailed far over the right of Vancouver goalie Trent Minor.
After surrendering 6 goals on 31 shots, Vancouver pulled Roddy Ross for Cole Schwebius in the third period. He gave up one goal on 9 shots. Total shots on goal favored Vancouver, 40-28.
Seattle Power Play – 0/7
Vancouver Power Play – 0/2
Portland Winterhawks 2, Spokane Chiefs 5
The Winterhawks bombarded Chief goalie Bailey Brkin with 17 shots in the first period, and he stopped all but one. Jared Freadrich’s big shot on the power play from the blue line was redirected from Josh Paterson; tipped in by Jake Gricius in front of the crease.
The second period was all Spokane and all power play.
Adam Beckman found the loose change off Jack Finley’s blue line wrist shot. Riley Woods wrapped around the crease on the right side of Bailey Brkin for the second goal of the period. Captain Jaret Anderson-Dolan slowed down and showed some patience before hammering home the third goal of the second period.
All three Spokane second period goals came on the power play.
Shots on goal favored Portland, 36-22.
Portland Power Play – 2/8
Spokane Power Play – 3/5
Seattle Thunderbirds 4, Vancouver Giants 1
Vancouver’s Jadon Joseph scored his second goal of the playoffs in the second period. A redirect off a shot from Milos Roman was Vancouver’s lone goal of the game.
Seattle started the scoring in the third with a two-on-two rush. Andrej potted his second of the playoffs, assisted by Owen Williams and Nolan Volcan. Volcan got his first goal of the series in an empty netter in the third.
Roddy Ross was rock solid in net for Seattle. He stopped a whopping 39 shots on 40 attempts. Vancouver tallied 28 SOG.
Seattle Power Play – 1/2
Vancouver Power Play – 1/4
Tri-City Americans 3, Everett Silvertips 4
These teams do not love each other. If Game 1 was defined by the offensive outburst in the third, then Game 2 will be defined by the multitude of penalties and chippy skaters on top of some nice goal scoring.
That’s hockey, baby.
7 roughing minors, 2 interference penalties and 6 10-minute game misconducts. Also, 1 yard sale of mitts, helmets and sticks that flooded the ice during the several minutes the officials attempted to sort out all of these penalties.
Martin Fasho-Rudas tallied his second of the playoffs. He continues to show up big on special teams.
Everett is prepared for a physical battle when they head to Try-Cities for game 3.
Everett – 39
Tri-City – 31
Tri-City Power Play: 2/7
Everett Power Play – 1/6
Portland Winterhawks 5, Spokane Chiefs 3
Portland found a way to equalize this series, and they did in the third period. A four goal outburst was started by Lane Gillis, scoring his first goal of the series assisted by Robbie Fromm-Delorme and Nick Cicek. Josh Patterson tallied his second goal of the playoffs when he found the loose change in font of his net.
Portland continues to show depth in their scoring. In game 2, the Winterhawks had 5 skaters score their first goals of the playoffs. They will try to keep that even spread of scoring in game 3. Neither team needed to deploy special teams in game two.
Shots on goal favored Portland, 35 to 26.